In the previous chapter of What if…? We find out that Hank Pym trashed the Avengers initiative for a vengeance. In the fourth, the revelation of the possibilities of Doctor Strange’s power are terrifying. The best episode of the show to date, packed with Easter eggs, is a journey through the entire magical universe of Marvel and the possibilities of the character.
It is also a careful collection of references that include the perception of time and reality. It also shows how Strange could be understood in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After all, Michael Waldron, writer of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, has made it clear. We will see the Supreme Sorcerer in all his power and to the best of his magical abilities. Does that also imply the dark ones?
While we wait for the movie, let’s review all the references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe left by an episode of What If …? anthology.
‘What would happen if…?’ and the world of the dark
The episode places special emphasis on the central conflict in Scott Derrickson’s film Doctor Strange (2016). In fact, it uses the same scene from the fateful road trip in which Strange is injured to narrate the action. Here we have the first easter egg.
But while in the cinematic timeline Strange drives only his car, this time he is in the company of Christine Palmer. In the multiverse version of What If …? the relationship between the two characters seems to be deeper. So much so that Christine’s death is the beginning of Strange’s journey into darkness.
Mystical Arts and the Search for Answers in ‘What If …?’
The version of Strange in this universe is also slightly different from the one we already know. Al of the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the injury to his hands pushes him to the search for the mystical arts. This time, it’s christine’s death which establishes that the relationship between the two is deeper and more emotional than it was supposed to be.
In fact, it’s the obsession with Christine’s death that makes Strange make the decision to break the timeline. And find an interesting fact about time as a primary element: there are facts that cannot be changed.
Another thing of interest in the search for Strange, is his encounter with the book of Cagliostro, this time to learn the meaning of the darkest magic. A search previously undertaken by Kaecillius, the villain of the first film.
Strange absorbing the power of others?
The series returns to the 2016 film and the controversial post-credits scene of Karl Mordo absorbing the power of another living being. The plot of What would happen if …? makes it clear that it is a way to become more powerful and break certain rules punctual. So the episode takes the easter egg to a whole new and terrifying level.
What if… Ancestral returned to warn of danger?
In one of the most disturbing scenes of the episode, Ancestral confessed that he used the power of the dark dimension to his advantage. This time, to divide Strange into two temporary decisions that created different versions of the Supreme Sorcerer. The reference is immediate to the behavior in Derrickson’s film, in which he also makes a similar decision.
“I relied on the power of the Dark Dimension to divide the timeline … to divide you,” he tells Stange uncorrupted. “Allow two of your possible timelines to occur in a universe.” The reference is reminiscent of Loki’s season finale, in which Miss Minute admits that He Who Remains could do something similar.
What if Doctor Strange lost the battle against himself?
In what seems like a direct reference to Dormammu, Strange confronts himself and his time double for the integrity of reality. In Derrickson’s film it was shown how Strange must have defeated the creature by facing it in a time loop. In the series, the battle sums up the concept and takes it to another level, with two Strange battling between spells and ability. In the end, Strange loses to himself (an allegory to Dormammu unable to face time) and destroys the universe in which he finds himself.
Date of high on Disney Plus now and save thanks to the annual subscription, with which you can enjoy its entire catalog of series and movies, access to the latest releases, to the catalog of Star and the best National Geographic documentaries.
It was already clear that what happens in What if …? It is canon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So there is no more than wondering the implications of the episode in Strange, central line of Phase 4 of Marvel. Will we see the Supreme Sorcerer in his most ruthless version?